News from the Road

Stay up to date on our road trip!
Chicago Business Roundtable

By Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, and Sister Joellen Sbrissa, CSJ

September 25, 2014

Sister Simone:

From my perspective, the business round table was one of the most interesting and creative discussions I have had about the common good. We met with six successful business leaders (one woman and five men) to talk about their experiences.

We came to realize that the reason the CEOs keep wanting more in salary is not because of needing more money. Rather, we realized that entrepreneurs are very competitive and money becomes the measure of success. We discussed what could be a new measure of success so that we could distribute more of the money to those who are being left out.

We also talked about the complexity of regulation for business and how challenging it is to follow...

Breakfast with Sen. Franken

By Sister Kerry O'Reilly, OSB

September 24, 2014

Our third and final day was full and combined what we did in the two previous days. We talked to students about being part of the 100% and the importance of their voice at the table. We also had a Town Hall.

However, the day began as no other, with an interfaith breakfast with Senator Al Franken and his wife, Frannie. We nuns, Peg Chamberlin of Minnesota Council of Churches, Rev. Meg Riley, the social justice coordinator of the Unitarian Church, along with Doran Schrantz from ISAIAH, were gathered with Senator Franken. We met at the Daily Diner, a new enterprise of the Gospel Mission that provides opportunities for people dealing with poverty and addiction to work and learn skills at the Diner. As a group of faith leaders and an elected official, we talked and listened and even analyzed a...

Table discussions at the Town Hall for the 100%

By: Sister Eunice Antony, OSB

September 22, 2014

The Spirit was a-movin’ at St. Benedict’s Monastery and we had about 150 in attendance for the evening’s Town Hall for the 100%.  Most of those present were middle-aged to elderly, but the quality of SJU students present with their enthusiasm and commitment, more than made up for the quantity. People came from the nearby cities as well as from St. Joseph’s.  One couple was from the city, they were visiting a local couple and came along for the event.  A group of women involved in a book study of our Spirituality Center attended—only one from MN.  They were excited about the opportunity to learn and participate in the experience.

The group was very welcoming, animated and participative. Some general concerns included big money, child abuse in many forms, fear,...

By Sister Alice Zachmann, SSND

September 22, 2014

We’ve just begun in Minnesota. The people who came in Mankato had this “unknown” expression on their faces. “What is this about?” This “unknown” soon disappeared after Sister Simone gave her enlightened presentation. The faces changed to “can you tell us more?” It happened as people shared the answers to the questions prepared—the buzz increased as the eagerness to share became evident. The enthusiasm for ongoing participation was evident in the numbers of voter pledge cards taken, buttons and other information.

It’s been exhilarating! Evidence of faith and hope has been shared in Mankato, our second stop.


By Sister Maurita Bernet, OSF

September 22, 2014

A roar of welcome followed by a royal breakfast at the Rochester Franciscans got us off to a warm start in Minnesota. What was ahead? People were waiting, eager to listen and share. Three young women at one table did not hesitate to start to list off real concerns: war, partisanship, media roaring to citizens wondering how to know the truth. What an inspiration, to be part of such eagerness to think and want to take action, for the common good of the 100%!

Sister Simone receiving the Pacem in Terris Award

by Sister Simone Campbell, SSS

September 21, 2014

The last stop on the bus in Iowa was in Davenport at St. Ambrose College for the Pacem in Terris award. I was so humbled and awed that the consortium of interfaith groups in the Quad Cities area had agreed to give me their 2014 award. When I saw the list of past recipients, tears sprang to my eyes. Seeing the names of Dr. Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Helen Caldecott, Jean Vanier (to name just a few) helped me remember so many leaders who nourished my roots of activism and peace building. Msgr. Mottet presented the history of the award from 1964. The religious leaders of the Quad Cities thought that there needed to be a response to the last encyclical of Pope John XXIII that was addressed to all people of good will. The result was the award that was first given to President Kennedy...

Pacem in Terris Award

By Sister Jan Cebula, OSF

September 21, 2014

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and people were abuzz, pledging to vote and signing the bus which was parked right in front of the doors to the chapel of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. But they weren’t coming just for that. They were streaming in for the presentation of the 2014 Pacem in Terris Award. To our very own Sister Simone Campbell. What a fitting way to conclude Day Five and the Iowa leg of Nuns on the Bus!

The award was created in 1964 to commemorate Pope John XXIII’s encyclical letter,...

debate-watching party

By Sister Kathy Thornton, RSM

September 20, 2014

We traveled on to Bettendorf, Iowa where we partnered with Iowa CCI (Citizens for Community Improvement) to canvass neighborhoods to engage folks to vote. It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon in September and many people were out of their homes. However, when the whole group came back together, we had forty-four voting pledge cards and had distributed issue information to many houses!

The last event of the day was a debate watching party. The debate was between gubernatorial candidates. About 75 to 80 people played "NETWORK Bingo" as we watched. It was a game to connect value comments of Pope Francis and other faith leaders with the debate candidates. Sometimes hard to do!...

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

By Sister Jan Cebula, OSF

September 20, 2014

Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “They’re helping me find my strong woman inside. It had been crowded out by negativity.” Words of wisdom from Deborah, whom we met at the Catherine McCauley Center on Day Four.  We were all deeply moved by Carlotta, Amy and Deborah as they shared their personal journeys of transformation from abuse, addiction and prison. “My past doesn’t define who I am today. I’m responsible, acceptable, healthy,” Carlotta told us. We could feel her strength and courage. “I have a passion for change” Amy, who serves on a state commission on homelessness, declared.

Erik, a refugee from Africa, beamed as he looks forward to voting for the first time in November. Charles, who helped him learn English and study for the citizenship test, had tears in his eyes. Wendy, the...

Meeting at the McCauley Center

By Sister Marge Clark, BVM

September 20, 2014

The Nuns on the Bus were welcomed to visit the educational and the transitional housing programs, meeting and talking with students and residents, as well as with staff. There are many men and women learning English, history and otherwise preparing for citizenship exams. Many continue work to improve their English beyond that level, even after becoming citizens.

They are enthusiastic about the prospect of voting, once they are citizens.

The transitional housing program supports women without children; many arrive directly from prison release. Those we heard from were open about their struggles, what led them to...